Live Music + Gig Reviews

Summer Sundae Weekender 2004, Day 2 @ De Montfort hall, Leicester

15 August 2004

The split personality of theEnglish whether was on show for all to see today.Waking up in blazing sunshine the temperature musthave hit 80 by lunchtime.

It then decided to go on awander and by 4 in the afternoon the heavens had welland truly opened, unfortunately, not on the head ofDavid Wyatt. A churning mess that, had I notbeen too hot, I would have thrown sharp objects at,such was the horror: Rest assured, I was not theonly one who thought this way.

Goldrush re-establishedmy faith in the guitar with their songs of redneckAmerica that showed real gusto and promise at times.With a good stage presence they are one to keep an eyeon in the future.

A trip to the indoor stage wasrewarded with the country standards of PaulBurch, a one man country song book. Thestrangeness of being indoors at a festival for longperiods of time was a little confusing, however, so it was backto the main stage outside where we were treated toTom Robinson.

Do you know Tom Robinson? Well,Steve Lamacq, who was the compare when he wasn’trecording his radio show for BBC6 next to the stage,had only good words. He said that we were beingtreated to a rare live performance from a legend ofthe music world, or words to that effect. Maybe wewere, maybe we weren’t, but whatever his standings inthe history of music, he don’t half preach.

There isone thing that grates music fans at festivals, andthat is preachers. Why do it? Why do we have to besubjected to such tripe? Every year, every festival,somebody has to unload their opinions, both religiousand political, on us. After playing War, Baby, andthat other song that we all know but don’t know thename of, a good set was turned into a sermon. Blahblah blah blah!

In order to chill out, theacoustic stage was next on the agenda. With a bar atone end and a continuous stream of local and nationalacoustic talent at the other, it was a nice place tobe when the rain set in. Solar Flare, with theirsublime melodies, were treated to a larger crowd dueto the wet sky, and they used their spotlight verywell. So well that I missed the start of TheBelles.

With the hype following themaround like an unshakeable shadow they had to deliver.The simple and highly captivating song structures gavea slightly Americana tinge to the sound, but their LoFi roots still came through. If their debut albumOmerta continues to gather the attention that thislive slot did, Radio 2 will be frothing at themouth.

As the night wore on it becametime for the closing act. French electronica fromAir was the order of the day. Tracks from chillout masterpiece Moon Safari, new album Walkie Talkieand lesser 10,000Hz Legend drifted across the air likesmoke. Kelly Watch The Stars, La Femme D’Argent andSexy Boy were intertwined with Universal Traveller andCherry Blossom Girl, all to the crowd’s delight. As thelights went down and the people dispersed back to theirtents and cars and homes, I was left feeling convincedthat the mini festival has as much to offer as itsgargantuan mega festival contemporary.

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